- University of New Mexico researchers found that participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course decreased anxiety and binge eating.
- Office workers who practiced MBSR for twenty minutes a day reported an average 11% reduction in perceived stress.
- Eight weeks of MBSR resulted in an improvement in the immune profiles of people with breast or prostate cancer, which corresponded with decreased depressive symptoms.
- A prison offering Vipassana meditation training for inmates found that those who completed the course showed lower levels of drug use, greater optimism, and better self-control, which could reduce recidivism.
- Fifth-grade girls who did a ten-week program of yoga and other mindfulness practices were more satisfied with their bodies and less preoccupied with weight.
- A mix of cancer patients who tried MBSR showed significant improvement in mood and reduced stress. These results were maintained at a checkup six months later.
- The likelihood of recurrence for patients who had experienced three or more bouts of depression was reduced by half through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, an offshoot of MBSR.
- After fifteen weeks of practicing MBSR, counseling students reported improved physical and emotional well-being, and a positive effect on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships.
Regular mindfulness practice can actually change your brain.
MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” centre, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex; associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making, becomes thicker. In other words, our more primal responses to stress seem to be superseded by more thoughtful ones.
There are many scientific studies and journals detailing such evidence, which have come out over the past 10 years. The Mindful Nation Report of 2015 took a large group of young volunteers aged 4-18 with a wide range of mental health diagnosis to try out mindfulness techniques in a controlled environment.
Mindfulness is an ancient technique that trains the brain with the power of concentration.